Q&A: My Son Has a Real Talent for Drawing…How Can I Help Him Succeed?
It sounds like your son not only has natural talent, but also the commitment to perfect his craft. Not everyone who has talent has the dedication to put in the work to make that talent into a career.
With that being said, there is one thing that your son can start doing TODAY that is going to help him immensely down the road. He should start to build a personal brand for himself.
Personal branding is the practice of crafting and promoting a persona based around a particular subject/tone/aesthetic. Personal branding is all about creating value for others, giving them something they want in return for their attention. In time, you can leverage that attention into valuable business opportunities. An easy way to get started is to set up an Instagram account dedicated to showcasing his work. He should be collaborating and engaging with fans and other artists in his niche to grow his audience.
A dedicated audience is the #1 most important thing your son needs to turn his hobby into a career. After all, a career is based off getting people to pay you for your skills, so the best way to do that is to get your talents in front of as many people as possible. A personal brand allows you to:
- Make connections within the industry by engaging
- Demonstrate marketability to potential employers
- Cultivate an audience to which you can market future products (comics, t-shirts, prints, etc.)
He should also start thinking about how he can diversify his talents to make his artistic skills even more valuable. This will also help him in building his personal brand. For example, if he learns how to edit video, he can start making drawing tutorials to post to IG, Facebook, Youtube, etc. and get more people engaged with his artwork. Learning to express and teach those drawing skills to others is also a valuable talent he can leverage in a future career. Learning how to craft a story could also help him to create his own comics that he could publish and promote online. You see where this is going?
Creating and cultivating a personal brand that he can later leverage into business opportunities will be the most important factor in whether or not your son can turn his talent into a career.
Sure, it’s going to take some work, but nothing worth having was ever easy. The rest of the posters here may be telling you, “Oh, that’s too much. He should just get a traditional degree in an in-demand field so he can go work for a big company straight out of college,” and while that’s great for some people, it’s not the only way.
I’m sure you and your son already know that he faces a long and difficult road ahead of him, but I hope this advice helps to demonstrate the practical steps he can take today to turn his dream into a reality.
Best of luck!